Sunday, March 31, 2013


Every time I think of Easter, I think of this song. The true story of Christ and the true meaning of Easter put to music - it moves my soul.

Casting Crowns - Oh Glorious Day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

Glorious day, Oh, Glorious day

I hope you all have a very blessed Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

An Opportunity For YOU!

As you all know, our trip to Florida is now exactly TWO weeks away!! I am so excited to get away from this cold weather and bask in some sunshine! During this time, I don't plan on blogging. Instead I want to fully enjoy my time with my family and kick the internet to the side for the week. Sooo... I am giving you guys the opportunity to possibly gain some new readers and guest post on my blog!

I will be gone from Friday, April 12th through Sunday, April 21st. That's 9 days in which I won't be blogging that I would LOVE to fill with your posts!

Wanna share a DIY? A recipe? Funny story? Just want to introduce yourself? I'm game for ALL of it!

If you're interested, shoot me an email at and we'll set something up. Guess what?? IT'S FRIDAY! I know you're all excited to start your Easter weekend. I hope it's a blessing to you and yours!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Henry's (other) Easter Photos

These photos I love - I'm so happy that it warmed up enough to go out and capture these today. The little bunny is one in which I made and Henry has never paid a bit of attention to it until now. Today he carried it everywhere, cuddling and hugging it like it was something he had loved and cherished his entire life. He makes me smile.

This last photo screams 'Henry' and the stage that he is in right now. He is constantly going around pointing and saying 'looook!' He is so curious - and learning so much every day.

P.S. - I got this entire outfit from JCP, which probably doesn't surprise you! Have I mentioned how much I love their store?

Henry's Easter Basket

I'm linking up with Sarah over at Our Journey to show off Henry's Easter basket! Head over and show off your basket too!

Jeremy and I don't buy Henry toys very often, so when a holiday comes around and it gives us an excuse to buy him something - we usually spoil him rotten.

1) What's That Noise - A Peter Rabbit Book

2) Hotwheels (Henry's favorite)

3) Cincinnati Reds Shirt - Last year he wore several onesies that I had gotten at my baby showers. It felt strange to buy him an actual t-shirt. He'll be wearing in Monday for the Red's opening day!

4) Extra pieces for #5.

5) Thomas the Train starter set - this included a bunch of track too.

I put it all in a Mickey Mouse bucket, since he LOVES Mickey right now and it will be perfect for the beach and playing this summer. I also threw in a couple of eggs that look like carrots (I thought they were super cute) that I filled with fruit snacks (another of his favorite things). 

There's no candy in this kids basket - but I'm sure that his grandparents will be sure to take care of that for us!

Brain Dump

I don't know where the heck the time goes anymore. It seems as if while the days are getting longer and longer, they also become busier and busier. My house is currently a mess, and I have no ambition to clean it. For the first time since Jeremy and I were married, I actually invited people over and let them see the mess. It's honest and it's life with a 1 year old, a overgrown boy husband and two dogs. So what if there are toys on the floor or dishes in the sink? If they want to judge - let them judge me. I'm only doing my best while taking time to live my life.

I've got a ton to accomplish in the next couple of weeks. Today I'm going to try to retake Henry's Easter photos. It's shaping up to be a beautiful day outside and I know they will look a ton better if we can go out and do them the way I had first imagined. I also have plans to pick Jeremy up for lunch, and we have to go by the courthouse to make plans to have our home reassessed in hopes that it will lower our property taxes. Then Henry and I need to run by the grocery so that we have food to eat the rest of the week. I still haven't shampooed the carpet and the house is going to HAVE to be cleaned either today or tomorrow before I go to work this weekend. We do all three have complete Easter outfits - so that's a sigh of relief. Mentioning, I also need to put Henry's bucket together. Lots to do!

I've officially lost 17 pounds as of yesterday. I would really love to get rid of those last 3 next week and then murder even a few more before vacation. I'm looking forward to doing a '20 down' post soon. I haven't been working out hardly at all. I attempted a light jog a few nights ago and I just couldn't do it. My ankle is healing, but it's still no where close to 100%. It also makes me sad because I LOVE to wear heels but I'm going to have to leave the heels in the closet for both Easter and probably vacation too. I tried to put a pair on with my dress a few nights ago and almost fell to the floor. With time and patience, I know I'll be back to 100% one of these days, just not as soon as I'd hoped.

I think spring is finally upon us here in Ohio. The last few days have been cold, but each seems to be slightly warmer than the day before. I can't wait to open my windows and let the air and sunlight flow through the house. Soon!

I hope you're all having a wonderful week! Hopefully I'll be back later today with more pictures of Little Bit!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Photos

I'm seriously disappointed in Henry's Easter photos this year. I know I'm hard on myself most of the time, but with the snow on the ground, we had to do them indoors and they were nothing like what I envisioned. I honestly feel like I just threw something together last minute. Not to mention, being at home, surrounded by his toys, Henry wanted nothing to do with sitting/standing still for even a second. Oh well! Something is better than nothing!

Snow Day with Daddy!

Why yes, it is almost April, and we are several days into spring with a TON of snow freshly covering the ground. Blue skies, birds chirping...and snow. Welcome to Ohio!

The only good thing about snow when we're wishing for warmer days?

Snow days! As a mechanic, Daddy occasional gets to stay home with us when business is slow on days like these. So what do we do?

Build a snowman of course! Henry's first!

Look Dad!

He fits perfectly into the family! I love days like these!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dating - The Early Years

I'm in the mood to write today. I have a screaming headache, the house is half-way clean and I just don't feel like moving, so why not, right?

Does your mind ever wander back to people you knew, once loved, once thought you loved, once loathed, once wished you could be them...etc? I was thinking today about how crazy our teenage hormones must be in order to convince us that we are 'head over heels' in love and that 'there will NEVER be another' when we are dating in high school. At least mine were - maybe I'm the only one.

I thought back to a couple of guys in particular. Brandon - my first real boyfriend, and John - my 'he's the one' boyfriend.

Brandon and I went to middle school and high school together. We had similar friends and found ourselves around one another a lot. One day in computer lab, I passed him a note (folded all neat and wrote in hot neon gel pens) saying that I wanted to ask him something. I wasn't going to ask him out, I don't remember what I was going to ask him, but when the note was returned to me it said something like 'Don't ask, let me - Will you go out with me?'. Sweet, right? I said yes. I hadn't actually thought about going out with him, but hey - a guy was interested in me and there was NO way I was going to pass that up! We dated all of 8th grade and most of our freshman year with a lot of small break-ups in between. I remember thinking that he was the only thing in this world that mattered to me. I cried when he went away for two weeks in the summer  (God forbid I spend a minute without him) and when we broke up for good, it was so dramatic that it split our group of friends in two.

He was my first real kiss, my first date, my first dance...and I will always remember him because of it.

John is one of those bitter-sweet memories. John and I met by a chance while he was visiting from Michigan. He was four years older than me, super hot and super sweet. We hit it off instantly and spent one week during the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in a whirlwind of emotions. Most people would call it a summer fling and quit, but I'm not quitter and John and I dated long-distance for three very long years. He made the trip down a couple of times to see me, and I made the trip up once, but our relationship mostly consisted of long phone conversations and AIM chats. Again, we broke up and got back together several times. I dated a guy once between our break-ups, but mostly I spent my entire high school career pining on someone who lived far away. When I turned 18, he moved down to Ohio. We went to my senior prom together, got engaged, and started planning a life together. Within a few months our relationship completely fell apart. He'd cheated on me, my grandmother hated him, his parents hated me - it finally became clear to us that we would not work. After four years, a lot of tears and wishing, we finally broke up for good. He returned to Michigan and eventually we quit talking all together.

John did teach me a few things: how to drive, how to be independent and hold my ground, when to let go, and how to tell the difference between love and lust. For that I will always be grateful.

Que another insignificant guy or two or three - then Jeremy comes in and love blossoms into something wonderful and beautiful. I look back and I have to wonder what in the world was wrong with me. If I could give myself a good talking - boy, would I! My hope is that when my children start dating, I'll be able to give them some guidance (good luck, I know) and teach them how to follow their hearts while using their minds.

The Roller Coaster

Life can be such a roller coaster of emotion. Happiness, sorrow, regret, joy, hope... only to name a few. I feel like I've lived out a lot of these emotions in just the past few weeks. I'm hopeful for the future, happy and joyful with the present, sad and sorrowful with passing events, and regretting time that was lost that can not be regained.

Saturday I lost my grandfather on my mother's side. I was not close to him, in fact, I had only seen him a handful of times in the last 10 years. This fact does not change the sorrow that has overcome my heart with the regret that I did not have more time to get to know him, and spend time with him. I have only the fondest memories of him, and I never felt as if he loved me less because I was not a huge part of his life. Jeremy and I had often talked of visiting him, despite what some may think, I do not wish to be separated from my mother's side of the family simple because I am separated from her. Sadly, this will never happen. The joyous part is that I will see him again one day, and I am at peace with the knowing that any pain or suffering he had in this life is now over.

Please pray for his family as I know they are more heart-broken than what I could ever be by his loss. They will lay him to rest on Thursday. I don't know as of now if I will be able to attend the services as I just made a commitment a couple of days ago to watch 3 girls for the day, but either way, please pray that this time will help to instill a peace within all of our hearts.

Siding Nightmare

Jeremy and I have planned on siding the house since we bought it. We feel like if we tried, we could probably side it ourselves, and have pretty much got it in our minds that we don't want to pay someone else to do it. We've had plenty of friends volunteer to help us when the time comes who have at least some experience in siding, so we feel like tackling the project shouldn't be too hard. (So it usually goes, right?)

We priced some siding earlier this week and got a rough idea as to what it could possibly cost us. Menards is offering 11% back on all purchases this week, so we're really considering trying to buy right now. One would think that the hardest decision would be color (which isn't the easiest decision, let me tell you!) but planning WHEN to buy seems to be the tough part for us. We also will be buying new gutters and such too.

It's super stressful to try and make a decision like this. Buying right now could potentially save us a few hundred dollars, which would be wonderful, but we also feel rushed and uncertain under the time crunch. We're really, really, really hoping that the money we got back from our tax returns will cover all the costs and we'll still have a bit left over but we're not sure. It seems like everyone has something different and some other price to tack on to what we thought was a final price. Has anyone else ever tackled a siding project? Any tips or tricks to make it easier?

Wish us luck in this adventure! I'm pretty sure we're really going to need it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

5 for Five

It's time to link up with Jenn and Jessica for this week's 5 for Five!

Green means that I 100% accomplished my goal.
Yellow means that I was pretty close to getting there but was just shy of my goal.
Red means that I did not accomplish my goal. all.

Last Week's Goals:

1.) Walk for 30 minutes at least 3 times this week; my ankle is feeling a LOT better and I know I can do this.

I don't know why I felt like I was going to have to push this on myself. My ankle still gets really sore when I walk for a long period of time, but I've found that if I go walk laps at the mall or something, it's really easy for me to accomplish. I rocked this this week and actually logged more like an hour three times this week.

2.) Shampoo the bedroom carpets. Puke, I hate shampooing carpets but it needs done badly.

Notice how I added 'Puke' to that goal. I totally think I did everything to AVOID shampooing the carpets. Pooey on me.

3.) Go on a date with Jeremy!

We went! Finally!

4.) Continue to log and be under my calorie limit each day this week while drinking at least 8 cups of water daily.

Almost. I blew it on the night Jeremy and I went out but otherwise I was good with both the water and the calories. Yay me!

5.) Do something special for my Little Bit, whether that be us going out or doing fun new activities around the house!

I did some event searching, got him a basket, and Jeremy took him on an Easter egg hunt on Saturday. I know I wasn't the one actually doing something for him, but I still feel like we did something special for him this week.

This Week's Goals:

1.) Stay under my calorie goal every day. This goal probably isn't going to change anytime soon.

2.) Take Henry's Easter photos. I'm stumped as to what to do, but if I don't do them this week, they're not really Easter photos anymore.

3.) Put together an Easter basket for the niece and nephew and get Henry's basket ready for the link-up this week.

4.) Shampoo the bedroom carpets. Puke. I will do it...I think.

5.) Do something special for both Henry and Jeremy this week.

Friday, March 22, 2013

It's Friday! Friday!

Is it weird that I'm actually excited for the weekend for once? Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather stay home with Jeremy and Little Bit and play cars all weekend rather than going to work, but that's life. Gotta work to live! I think it's the fact that I can say vacation is exactly 3 weeks away from today. Helloooo warm weather! They are saying we may accumulate another 4 to 6 inches of snow this Sunday so Florida is sounding really good right now.

Do you and your family find time to travel each year? Jeremy and I talked a lot about how much traveling means to us on our date last night.  We usually manage to take two larger vacations each year with several smaller random trips in between, and while we usually have to budget and sacrifice to do so, it's completely worth it to us. The family time, without distractions and a looming 'to-do' list, is priceless to us, and it's a very needed break away from the 'norm'.

We also talked a lot about Henry and how fast he is growing up. It makes us both sit in wonder and sadness to think about how our little boy is no longer a baby. As a wife and a mother, my heart tore for Jeremy when I saw him hold back the tears, and it also made me love him that much more. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful husband who is also a wonderful father. It's easy to take for granted the feelings of your spouse if you don't take the time to notice exactly what they are feeling.

Date night! It finally happened!
We had a wonderful time last night. We had dinner out at Max & Erma's because we had never been there before. It was good, but I totally blew my diet for the day. I seriously don't think there was one thing on the menu that wouldn't blow my diet though. I'm back on track today but it was worth it for the time spent with Jeremy. We then drove around for an hour, getting lost in the countryside. We do this a lot. We've realized as a couple that simply taking a drive can help us to reconnect and really talk more so than doing anything else. We talked a lot about life and where we are today, friends (or our lack of such), and how much we would love to extend our family soon. I think we also decided that Henry would benefit from a couple of hours of daycare or something of the sort so that he can be around other kids his age for awhile each week. Then we made a quick trip to the grocery to pick up just a couple of things. The entire time we were out, Jeremy told every person we met that he was 'on a date with my wife'. It was sweet because every person kind of looked at us like we were kooky, but they also had this secret smile like they knew that this was a man who adored this woman. And I felt that way too.

I simply have the best husband ever.

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Big Deal

Ladies, I need you all to wish me an insane amount of luck today. Why you ask?

Jeremy and I have planned a date night!!

In case you are new around these parts: this is a really, really big deal. It's a big deal because Jeremy and I have not been on one date since Henry was born on July 19th of 2011. Yeah, I said 2011. Like...almost two entire years ago. That's a LONG time for a couple not to have one date together, let me tell you!

It hasn't been because of a complete lack of trying, I will assure you this. Every time that we plan a date night, something goes terribly wrong. Someone dies or ends up in the hospital, a severe storm hits, Henry hyperventilates from screaming so much and we get called home... I swear I'm not exaggerating here!  It almost feels taboo for me to even talk about having a date today because it makes me fear that something awful will happen and we will have to cancel. Again.

I haven't even planned anything specific. I have no idea what we will do or where we will go. It's to cold to do anything outdoors and my ankle prohibits us from doing anything too physical right now, but I'm not going to let that stop us. Even if we just get dinner out together, it will be better than nothing! Any suggestions as to what we can do tonight? It's been so long since we've 'dated' that I'm not sure either of us really know how to anymore!

How often do you and your husband have a 'date night'? I would love for us to be able to have a date once a month. I know that probably sounds minimal, but we really enjoy spending time together as a family and prefer to do most things together. However, we also know it's important to spend time together alone as a couple too. How do you balance couple time and family time?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On the Shelf

There are certain books that I have read in my lifetime that hold a special place on my bookshelf (and in my heart) . The Chronicles of Narnia is one of those books. When I closed the cover of the last book, I almost flipped it back over and started reading it again immediately. It is, in fact, one of the only books that I have been able to read twice (and could probably read a hundred times more). The way C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, tucking so many deep underlying thoughts and meanings into the pages, just amazed me. I laughed, I cried, I gasped and I praised God through-out the entire story.

“Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadowlands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion;…
-The Last Battle

This last quote; I read it, then stopped, and had to catch my breath as the reality of what was being said washed over me...

Death will be just the beginning, this life is just a term that will soon be over. The celebration, the holiday, the morning has yet to come, and the never-ending joy that we so hope for will be our reward. God, whom we long to know intimately, will be before us in all of His glory, in His true, and mighty form. With our loved ones surrounding us, we will find peace and never-ending happiness while we praise God for the journey that He lead us safely through. A perfect ending to any story.

"Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?"
"I shall be telling you all the time," said Aslan. "But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder."
-The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

This may be my favorite quote in the entire book, the comfort that those six words can bring to a weary and tired soul: "I am the great Bridge Builder!" God has created a way for us to go to heaven. We don't know when we'll get there, but we have been assured that when the time comes, it will be worth any trials and tribulations that we may have faced on the journey. In the meantime, we are assured (over and over again in the Bible) not to fear, because we know the one who holds the power to carry us through any storms and in the meantime, build a bridge of blood that will safely carry us across. The thought of it all makes me want to shout out in praises with hope and joy and understanding.

Yes, this book will forever be cherished by my soul. Lewis knew exactly how to mirror Aslan as the God that I love, and that I long to continue worshiping for the rest of my life.

So What!

It's Wednesday which means it's time to link up with Shannon for another edition of So What!
So What Wednesday
This week I'm say So What! if:
-I'm dreading work this weekend and it's only Wednesday. With my ankle being hurt and Easter and vacation time being so close, the last place I want to be is work.
-I bought the dress from this post instead of buying an outfit (which probably would have been more feasible) because I just simply love it. It's heavier than what I imagined so it's probably going to be useless to take to Florida, but it will make a great Easter dress...and I just love it. So there.
-I have the cutest kid ever. You don't have to agree, but I'm one of those moms that sincerely believe it.
Proof! Isn't his Easter outfit adorbs?
-Apparently Tori Spelling and I have similar tastes in kid's clothing as this is the 3rd 'dressy' outfit I've bought for Henry that she's designed. I'd never have guessed. Seriously.

-We had pizza last night for dinner because the day was just so busy and we didn't even converge together in the living room until 9 p.m to decide what to do for dinner.

-Said pizza wasn't paid for by us. We were doing Jeremy's parent's a favor and they repaid us with dinner. Win-win. (We did agree that this would replace out pizza night on Friday.)

-I have seriously neglected my camera lately, and as of right now, I have zero ideas as to what to do for Henry's Easter photos. Winter + photography = BA-HUM-BUG!

-I'm a little annoyed that today is the first day of spring and yet it still looks like winter outside. 1) I think the groundhog was a bit tipsy this year and 2) I believe we had 70 degree weather this time last year. Where is my spring time!?!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013


There is one thing that absolutely drives me insane about my husband.

He has the worst timing.


I've got dinner set and ready on the table when he's suppose to be home from work? He had ten places to stop on the way home.

I'm tired and ready for bed? He's just downed his second energy drink.

I'm feeling a need for some 'alone' time? He wants to be cuddly and close.

I'm feeling lonely? He has plans to go out.

I feel like pasta? He wants steak.

I want to go out? He wants to stay in.

I had a early lunch and am starving at 6 o'clock? He didn't eat until four.

I want to go to the park? He wants to go to the movies.

I'm 'in the mood'? He's not feeling so hot.

It's never-ending, and it never fails.

And yet, we are so in love... and I wouldn't trade him for the world. I guess what they say is true... opposites do attract!

Monday, March 18, 2013

5 for Five!

It's time to link up with Jenn and Jessica for this week's 5 for Five!

I love Stephanie's idea over at And Baby Makes 10 to color code each week's list, so I'm going to do the same.

Green means that I 100% accomplished my goal.
Yellow means that I was pretty close to getting there but was just shy of my goal.
Red means that I did not accomplish my goal. all.

Last Week's Goals:

1) Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.

I rocked this. I love water, I just literally forget to drink it sometimes. I fixed that issue by keeping a water bottle close by all day long. I'm pretty sure I drank close to 10 or 11 cups of water each day this week!

2) Create a list of healthy meal ideas that both Jeremy & I will eat, and cook at least 3 of them this week.

I didn't finish the list, but I cooked a healthy meal every day this week except for Friday, which is our pizza night.

3) Spend less than $100 this week on groceries, gas, and any other daily purchases.

Nope, not even close. We went to the grocery as a family Monday night and spend $110 (why is it that taking your husband to the grocery can almost double your grocery bill??) and then I put $30 in gas in my car this week. I didn't spend any other money though!

4) Spend 15 minutes doing arm and ab workouts while staying under my calorie goal each day this week.

I stayed under my calories goal every single day this week, including the weekends! However, I slacked a couple of days when it came to my workouts.

5) Deep clean and sterilize Henry's toys.

It took me an entire four hours of bleaching and scrubbing and rinsing and drying, but every single one of Henry's toys are now clean and sterilized!

This Week's Goals:

1.) Walk for 30 minutes at least 3 times this week; my ankle is feeling a LOT better and I know I can do this.

2.) Shampoo the bedroom carpets. Puke, I hate shampooing carpets but it needs done badly.

3.) Go on a date with Jeremy!

4.) Continue to log and be under my calorie limit each day this week while drinking at least 8 cups of water daily.

5.) Do something special for my Little Bit, whether that be us going out or doing fun new activities around the house!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Thank You

I just wanted to send a thank you out to all of you, my wonderful blogger friends, this weekend. Your encouraging words, prayers and support mean so very much to me, I don't think I could ever explain just how much. As a girl who often feels as if she has very little friends and family to turn to, you are there, and so, so very special and precious to my heart. Thank you.

I sent my mother a very long, heart-felt explanation of exactly why I felt the way I did after I calmed down last night. Her response of 'whatever, I have your brother' made it very easy for me to make the decision to once again completely remove her from my life, online or elsewhere. I don't feel as if it's in anger, or even hurt. I feel 100% at peace with my decision, especially since I finally got to get all of the things off of my chest and heart that I've wanted to say to her and ask her for so long. I really feel like I can move on in forgiveness and God's grace at this point.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Any of you who have read my blog for a bit know about the situation with my mother. She sent me a message on Facebook and quite frankly, I couldn't resist telling her exactly how I felt. It was something I needed to do, mostly for myself. When she responded to my response, I was little less than dumbfounded. Here's the conversation, I removed her name for sake of privacy on her part.

    • Jenn Ovenshire
      I forgave you a long time ago. There is a huge difference in forgiveness and protecting your family. I will not put a person in my son's life who came in and out of mine so often. If you think that I am angry or bitter towards you, you are wrong. I am simply doing what I feel is best both for myself and my family. I feel as if I gave you opportunities to be part of my life. I invited you to my graduation, my wedding, I searched for phone numbers and called you when I hadn't heard from you in so long. I tried for many years. You knew where I was and my grandmothers phone number never changed and yet you made little to no effort to contact me. I'm sorry that you feel as if its me that has removed you from my life because I feel as if you did that yourself many years ago.
      • Today

      • i hate that you feel that way but i have never cut you out of my life iam sorry but i will always love and think of you and my grandbaby so think what ever you want to but i will always love you

      I have sat here unable to even put into words how just a few words of hers can set me off. It hurts me  1) because I feel like she's pushing blame and guilt on to me and 2) because I feel as if she's calling me a liar. It angers me for the same reasons and also because I don't understand how someone can never bother to have any part in your life and then all of a sudden feel entitled. Does anyone else get a sense of entitlement from these few words? Maybe it's just me.

      To me, love is so much more than saying 'I loved you and always have loved you'. There has to be action behind those words. It took everything in me not to send a very angry message back saying "you NEVER cut me from your life?! NEVER?!" because in my mind, that's all she's done.

      How would you treat the situation? I don't know what to say because I know, right now, the only words my heart can find are full of anger and hurt. God commands us to forgive but I don't think He wants us to give forgiveness and then put ourselves back into situations where we know we'll be hurt again. Am I wrong about that? I could use some guidance here.

      20 Months

      Friday, March 15, 2013

      The First 10

      Well, well! Goodbye 10 pounds! We are never, ever, ever, ever getting back together. EVER! After feeling so down the last week or so after hurting my ankle, I couldn't be more pleased when I stepped on the scale yesterday and saw that I had lost another 3 pounds. Then this morning, when I weighed myself first thing...another pound gone!

      This puts my grand total of weight loss at 10.6 lbs and my weekly weight loss at 1.3 lbs. So far, I am right on  track! These first ten pounds also mean that I get to treat myself to a new outfit so I (of course) have been doing some online window shopping this morning!

      I'm going to hold off on buying anything until right before vacation, but here's what I had in mind:

      I'm in love with all the coral this spring so I am in love with these coral capris from Kohls:

      Paired with one of these two shirts, one from Kohls, the other from JCP:

      I can't decide between that bright mint color or the grey. Knowing me, I'd probably go with the grey. I also thought about just buying a dress because when I'm at the beach, I LOVE to throw on my bathing suit and then a dress over it and be ready for the day.

      This one from JCP may be a bit too dressy, but I love the jist of it and I think it screams warm weather:

      What do you guys think?

      I'm excited for the coming weeks. I've still been working out, even though it hasn't really been cardio related, since my ankle injury, so I'm counting that towards my bathing suit reward if I work out 4 times a week. I'm also going to work hard to keep this 1 pound a week weight loss up until vacation, I'd really like a new cute, summer dress in addition to my new outfit!

      For now I'm off to do some planning, I almost forgot... I get to plan a date night!! That may be my favorite part!!

      Thursday, March 14, 2013

      Older, and Perhaps Wiser?

      Do you ever feel like you're older than your age? You look around and think 'what in the WORLD, are they thinking?' when it comes to the people your own age around you?

      Yeah. That's me.

      Maybe it's because I skipped the whole 'college life' thing and went straight into commuting for class and working full time. Then when I became old enough to drink - well, I got married.

      Yeah, no drinking and partying days for this gal!

      Maybe more than anything else, it was because I lived with my grandmother for several years and her slow pace life wore off on me. I don't know really.

      At 18 I was searching for my husband.
      At 21 I was married.
      At 24 I was a mother.

      At 25 1/2? Well... I'm still married and a mother, but I'm also a full-grown woman.

      I don't relate to most other 20-something year olds. I find myself most comfortable around the 30's to 40's stage of people. 30 is the new 20 anyway, right?

      So tell me - how is a girl to make friends if she doesn't relate to anyone else her own age? I'm old-fashioned, the complete opposite of modern and would rather spend my evenings quietly at home than out on the town.

      Do any of you relate? How did you make friends? I'd love to hear your advice and stories!

      Sitting, Staring and Wishing

      This is where I am today: sitting in my outdoor rocking chair in the middle of our living room, staring out the window and wishing that the blue sky and chirping birds meant that it was warm enough to be out enjoying such a beautiful day. I'm pretending the thermometer doesn't say twenty-three and that the snow still clinging to a few rooftops isn't really there. I'm dreaming of spring, my fingers in dirt as I plant my flowers and garden, and the sunshine warming my pale skin that has remained covered for so many months now. I'm dreaming of long walks, fishing in the evenings, cook-outs and play-dates at the park. I'm longing for the days to continue to get longer and the weather to stay warmer, with days upon days of open windows where neither the heat or the air-conditioning is turned on. This is where I am today; sitting, staring, and wishing.

      Wednesday, March 13, 2013

      This and That

      Okay, who watched the season finale of The Bachelor??

      I just finished watching all three hours of it. I don't know why, but I was a total addict this year and with them announcing who will be on next season... umm... count me in AGAIN!! I can't wait for this wedding to be aired as well, I can only imagine what Sean and Kathrine will have up their sleeves and I totally hope that Sean's dad will be the officiate.

      Enough of all that though, I swear I'm usually not this wrapped up in reality shows.

      I went through the refrigerator, freezer and cupboards Monday night and got rid of any kind of unhealthy food. It was actually pretty easy to do because I've been trying to buy healthier foods for the last month or so, so there wasn't actually a whole lot to get rid of. Then Jeremy, Henry and I made a trip to the grocery and only bought healthy items. I think the most unhealthy things I bought were whole wheat tortillas and 45 calorie bread. Jeremy has been doing awesome on his diet and I'm so proud of him for it.

      My ankle is slowly getting better. I went shopping with my grandmother yesterday and was able to walk around on it for several hours. I also pushed myself to go walking for an hour on Monday night. It was not easy and it hurt like hell, but I did it and I felt good for doing it afterwards. I know I'm pushing it to heal faster, but I'm so motivated to get back out and start training again for this 5k in August. I don't want any time to waste and although I've stayed under my calorie goal almost every day for the last few weeks, I still haven't really lost any weight. It's disheartening to only eat 1300 - 1500 calories a day and see no results of that dieting. With time, I know.

      I need a good book to read. I'm going to go crazy if I don't read something soon. Any recommendations?

      Monday, March 11, 2013

      5 for Five

      I've seen a couple of my awesome blog buddies link-up with Jenn and Jessica for this awesome idea of 5 for Five goals within a week.

      I stole the whole concept description from Jessica so you could better understand what it's about!

      The concept is fairly simple: 
      1.) Set five goals that you want to accomplish over the next five days of the work-week.  
      2.) Share your goals with all of Blogland.
      3.) Power through that list during the week.
      4.) Come back the next week to share you how did.
      5.) Set some more goals for yourself, and repeat!

      Since this is my first time linking up I don't have a list from last week to share on how I did, so I'm just going to get straight to this weeks goals!

      1) Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.
      2) Create a list of healthy meal ideas that both Jeremy & I will eat, and cook at least 3 of them this week.
      3) Spend less than $100 this week on groceries, gas, and any other daily purchases.
      4) Spend 15 minutes doing arm and ab workouts while staying under my calorie goal each day this week.
      5) Deep clean and sterilize Henry's toys.

      Check back in next Monday to see how I do!

      My Personal History in Depth: Birth & Family

      A bit of time ago, I saw this 'This Is Me' challenge and pinned it on Pinterest as one of those 'wishlist' blog things that I'd one day like to accomplish. I haven't got the guts to start the real 'challenge' yet, although it looks like a lot of fun, but I love the Personal History in Depth questions and thought I would start there. I love the idea of documenting your life for your children and grandchildren to read one day, it's like leaving a bit of yourself behind for them. My husband and I are huge on history, including family history. We believe in traditions and carrying on those traditions and creating new ones that will always have a meaningful place in our homes.

      Usually I think you would break up this first group of questions. But honestly, I don't know a lot about my birth so... I think I can tackle them all at once.

      Your birth and family: 
      *What is your full name and how did you get that name?  Do you have any nicknames?
      My first name is Jennifer, middle Marie. The only nickname that anyone really calls me is 'Jenn', aside from Jeremy who occasionally calls me 'Genevieve'. I have no idea how I got my name, although I think I recall someone saying one time that 'Marie' is a family name.

      *What are your parent's full names and birth dates and places?
      My father's full name is James Steven Cowden, but he goes by Steve. His birthday is May 12 and I couldn't tell you the year. He was born in Rosehill, Virginia - one of my very favorite places in the world. My mother's first name is Ronda and last name is Hensley, I have no idea what her middle name is, or when her birthday is. I'm pretty sure she was born in Miamisburg, Ohio - but I may be wrong about that as well.

      *What is the date of your birth?  Where were you born?  What are some of the circumstances (when your mom went in to labor, how long, her doctor, your dad fainting, etc.) of your birth?
      I was born on October 23, 1987 in Kettering, Ohio. I have no idea what my birth was like, who was there or any other details.

      *What are your sibling's full names and birth dates?
      I have 1 full blooded sibling and 4 half. I consider them all family just the same and they all carry my dad's last name.

      Robert James Bradley - December 7, 1988
      Brandon Lee - February 5, 1991
      Levi James - February 29, 1996
      Sierra May - March 11, 1999
      Dakota Ray - March 11, 1999
      (Today is their birthdays!)

      *How was your relationship with your siblings and parents?
      I love all of my siblings. My brother Robert and I grew up watching out for one another constantly and we had a lot of fun together. We don't see each other a lot now, but I still love him. Brandon is one of my best friends and while he's been away in the Army, I have missed him terrible. Levi has always been (and always will be) my baby. He was born about two years before my dad and step-mother split and I spent a lot of time with him when he was little. Sara and Cody are wonderful kids and I love hanging out with them now. Sara and I have grown increasingly closer as she's gotten older but I would say my relationship with the two of them is the weakest as they were born and were raised away from me a good part of their lives. I love my dad, but I don't see or talk to him very often. I don't speak to my mother. My relationship with her is non-existent and my relationship with my dad is close to the same. I see my step-mother, Theresa, most often just because I go to see my siblings usually once a week. I don't agree with a lot of her decisions in life either, but  she's always been there for her kids and that's something that I have to respect her for.

      *What are some lesson s you learned from you parents?
      Life is what you make it, not what you THINK it has to be. You can rise above your surroundings and you should learn from other's mistakes, not follow them into them.

      *How did you help in your home?
      When I lived with my dad, I did dishes and laundry and helped as much as I can. But I won't lie, we pretty much lived in filth. If it didn't get cleaned, my dad didn't care. When I moved in with my grandmother, my life completely changed and I learned how to do ALL house chores, cooking and even little things like manners. My life really changed when I decided to leave my dad's home and ask to live with her.

      Saturday, March 09, 2013

      Stay Little

      My Dearest Son,

      Tonight I have a heavy heart. As I sit here alone, the sound of your little snores the only sound in the room, I can't help but be overwhelmed by the nagging feeling that this will not last forever. One day you will grow up and you will not need me in the way that you need me now. You will not let me kiss your messy face and hold your little hand and whisper sweet promises of love and support into your tiny ears. You will become too heavy for me to carry on my hip and too big to sleep curled up on my lap. You will not look up at me with those big, brown eyes as if I'm the only person in this world who can calm your fears and fix your boo-boos. In a blink, my love, you will be grown and I will be left with only photos and memories to remember this time. I fear that the time will come too fast and I will look back and regret not holding you tighter and wishing you my little baby longer. One day you may become a father, and even then, I do not think you will understand the anguish and heartache and joy and blessing that is motherhood. It is as if a hand is clenched constantly around your heart, allowing it to grow with joy and excitement, pride and love and then squeezing without mercy with fear and longing, hurt and shame. Do not get me wrong, this is the greatest gift and blessing that God has ever bestowed upon me. I would not trade this time with you for anything in this world and while I wish you to stay little, I also wish you to grow and prosper and develop into a strong, dependent man. When I think of adding another baby to our little family of three, I cannot imagine my heart growing to make room for more of this love. You have filled my life with never-ending joy and laughter and my constant prayer is that I will not fail you as a mother. You deserve the world, Henry, and I will do anything within my power to teach you and to show you all that this world has to offer.

      Perhaps one day you will see that you were my entire world and that I wouldn't have it any other way.

      I love you so,

      Friday, March 08, 2013

      It's Friday!

      It's Friday! Yay for all of you who have the weekends to spend with your families!

      I usually have to work, but considering the fact that I can't move...well, I'm calling off. At least tonight anyway. Jeremy is picking up an ankle brace tonight and I'm hoping that with it I'll be able to move around again. I can put some weight on it at this point, but it's still really hard to get around.

      I'm so proud of this little boy right now. Yesterday he was soooo good for me. He spent most of the day curled up in my lap with a book or toy while we watched movies. He even helped me to ice my foot, being super gentle when putting the bag on my ankle. It's like he completely understood that mom was out of commission and needed a little TLC and a day of rest. If this is the worst thing he'll do (he pulled all the cushions off the couch and was jumping up and down - his new favorite thing to do) then I'm a-okay with that!

      I hope you all have a great weekend. I'm not going to lie, if I don't make it to work all weekend - I'm not sure I'll care. I sure could use the time with my Little Bit and hubby!

      Thursday, March 07, 2013

      Unhappy Jenn

      I'm not a happy girl today.

      I know several of you saw this picture last night on IG:

      Well, just repeat this picture into today because if anything, it's worse than yesterday. It's swollen to twice it's size, a lovely purple color and constantly throbbing in pain. I am certain that I at least severely strained it, if I didn't fracture a bone of some sort.

      I feel like a complete baby with the whole situation, but I can't even begin to explain how much this injury upsets me. I was working so hard towards my goals and then SNAP, it's like they were postponed and gone in an instant...

      I know I can focus on other things - like eating healthy - and I have been. But to think about having to restart, even after just beginning, upsets me so much. And if it's broken? Well...let's just hope it's not. We just paid off some of Henry's medical bills that were insanely high because our insurance doesn't really cover anything. If I have to go get x-rays and such, well... I don't even want to think about how much it would cost us.

      I'm praying that God will heal my ankle and that it won't be anything severe and that soon I'll be able to get back out and walk/run again. Considering that I can't really put much weight on it, watching Henry today and tomorrow while Jeremy is at work is going to be a real challenge, and I don't even want to think about going to work this weekend.

      This has thrown me into an immediate funk and I hate it. Usually I'm so good about pushing through just about anything without it really effecting me, but for some reason this is just so different.

      Wednesday, March 06, 2013

      As White As Snow

      Ya know... it's funny that despite the fact that I am itching for warm weather, the snow can still make me become still and awed like a young child seeing it for the very first time.

      We are currently buried in 8 inches of thick, wet snow. The kind that sticks to everything and creates this beautiful winterscape that makes you wish it could remain forever - quiet, untouched and perfect. I like to think that winter is God's way of slowing us down and forcing us to appreciate the things that surround us. You don't notice each branch on every tree quite as much as you do when there is snow clinging to them, and the gentle footprints of a deer is most apparent when they're the only signs of life in your backyard. The entire world seems to become hushed, brighter and cleaner.

      Today I am feeling especially blessed from this snow. It always makes me feel more at peace - and as a bonus, my husband returned home from work shortly after leaving. It's a family snow day for us and I plan on enjoying every minute of it.

      Any suggestions as to what we can do today?

      Tuesday, March 05, 2013

      The Break-Up

      I'm officially over winter.

      I know I mentioned something similar yesterday, but I don't think you quite grasped the severity of this break-up and my need to completely move on.

      Winter needs to straight kick the bucket before I turn into a spring-driven mad woman.

      I NEED the bright sunshine that falls softly on your skin and slowly warms you from the outside in.
      I NEED the flowers to make their way up from the ground and sprout, bloom and give this dreary world some color.
      I NEED to hang up my winter coat in the closet of forgotten clothing, along with my heavy hats, scarves and gloves.
      I NEED long walks while pushing the stroller or pulling the wagon and the ability to explore our little corner of the world once again.
      I NEED to get out of this house, away from this TV, away from the windows that are a constant reminder that the outdoors are just a few steps away, but unattainable, untouchable... unable to be enjoyed.

      We have a winter storm moving through as we speak. First sleet, freezing rain and ice...then up to 8 inches of snow. (Insert long groan and exhausted sigh here.)

      Mother nature hates me and the inability to get out and move is such a motivation buzz-kill.

      I am so ready for spring.

      P.S. - Don't forget to head over to Mouse in the Kitchen and enter the give-away for one of my phone cozies! I'm guest posting over there today as well!

      Monday, March 04, 2013


      17:25 minute mile today. I know thats still horrible but I'm getting a little better!

      Happy Monday!

      I'm sitting here in absolute complete silence. I'm sorry moms, I'm not trying to make you jealous - trust me, I'm appreciating and relishing in this silence myself. The sun has been coming up earlier which in part makes me want to get up earlier. I'm an early bird and I love it that way and part of me hates that next Sunday they'll turn the clocks back up an hour and that early sunshine will become later again for awhile. It looks beautiful out today already and all I really want to do is find a warm ray and just stand in it. It's apparent that spring is around the corner - I hear birds chirping and see plants budding - but mostly, I feel a little stir-winter-crazy. I am itching for some warm weather and some time outdoors with Henry.

      How was your weekend? I worked, as usual, did a little shoe shopping and watched the last Twilight movie - which was good, I guess. I wasn't a huge fan of all the heads rolling around everywhere in the huge fight scene. I'm honestly glad that it's all over and I'm excited to see if they can even come close to capturing the awesomness of The Host on the big screen. I honestly wish Meyer would write another series that revolved around Jacob & Renesemee's adult life. Like, how is that going to work? SPOILER ALERT! If she's going to be immortal like her parents but Jacob is going to live out a normal adult lifespan, they can't really be 'mates' right? I mean, he is going to eventually die - unless...well, you can see where this is going. I always beg for more when a series that I enjoyed ends.

      Henry is now awake and running around everywhere, I wish I could roll out of bed and have as much energy as he does instantly. He's been giving these huge hugs that will make your heart just melt - he'll wrap his arms around your neck or leg and just squeeze and squeeze. It's so cute. He's been giving more kisses too. He'll run back and forth on the couch between Jeremy and I and kiss each of us. It's cute and I'll never get enough of them!

      Make sure you head over to Mouse in the Kitchen and check out Laura's blog! I'm sure you guys will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have, she's awesome (and one heck of a supermom)!! I'll be guest posting there this week and she's hosting a several give-aways! I just might have one of these cute hand-made phone cozies over there waiting for someone to win!

      Happy Monday!